Fireworks. Photo by Shannon Lough

Year in Review: July 2017

The city becomes the involuntary owner of Watson Island, Pacific NorthWest LNG pulls out

  • Jan. 1, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Celebrating Canada 150 with a bang

The fireworks display for Canada 150 celebrations in Prince Rupert were the biggest ever, with the show lasting 25 minutes. Nearly $10,000 in funding came from Heritage Canada and the Port of Prince Rupert for the event.

READ MORE: Canada Day fireworks bigger than ever

Treated wood waste burned on Ridley

The Port of Prince Rupert apologized for a controlled burn on Ridley Island after it was discovered that an internal misclassification of material led to treated wood burning from June 22-27. The wood came from the 80-year-old Odin Dock from Cow Bay and was mislabeled as suitable for burning while the port was clearing the site for a new logistics facility. The port admitted its oversight was not in line with best practices to prevent environmental damage.

READ MORE: Port apologizes for Ridley fire

Vexatious litigant

BC Supreme Court judge in Prince Rupert declares James Sterritt a vexatious litigant for initiating court action that obviously wouldn’t succeed, as well as self-identifying as Christ, Chief Kitsilano and owner of all the land in the province. He will need permission from a judge to file further lawsuits. His court case against the city cost the municipality $46,000 dollars to have a lawyer fly to court to defend the city.

READ MORE: Self-proclaimed Christ named vexatious litigant

Low rate of salmon return closed fishing

Recreational sockeye salmon fishing was prohibited for 2017 due to a historically low rate of return, which was below the threshold for First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries. Skeena coho, pink and chinook salmon recreational harvesting reopened July 15.

READ MORE: Recreational salmon fishing shut down

Trailer park forced to clean up

The District of Port Edward moved to force Stonecliffe trailer park to clean up at the expense of the owner. The municipality imposed its unsightly premises bylaw and cited safety concerns after a fire on June 15 when two of the trailers burned. The trailer park had been on the council’s action list in May 2016, several months after Stonecliff Properties began dismantling trailers but halted when a lawsuit was launched against the owner.

READ MORE: District forces trailer park clean up

Petronas cancels LNG project

Pacific Northwest LNG announced on July 25 that the company was pulling its $36 billion project from Prince Rupert, after reviewing market conditions. The proposed processing plant on Lelu Island would have shipped an annual total of 19 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to Asia.

READ MORE: Petronas pulls out of northwest LNG project

Watson Island expropriated by city

Prince Rupert city council unanimously moved to expropriate the land on Watson Island from a private owner. The forced purchase from Sun Wave Forest Products means the City of Prince Rupert can create revenue from leasing the land. Sun Wave originally promised to reopen a pulp mill when they purchased the island, but the city became the involuntary owner of much of the property when the company did not pay their taxes.

READ MORE: City approves motion to expropriate land on Watson Island

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